The Rocket

5 Things to Know Before You Vote

Before casting your ballot, here's what you should know about SGA's elections

Hannah Shumsky, Assistant News Editor

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The election cycle for 2019-20 Slippery Rock Student Government Association (SGA) executive board and senate is underway. With the campaign process beginning Monday morning, candidates will have the opportunity to speak about their respective platforms through campaigns, the townhall hosted by The Rocket and WSRU-TV election special of “SGA Update.”

Before casting your votes, here is what you need to know about this year’s election:

1. Most positions are uncontested for the second year in a row. 

For the second year, all of the executive board positions have only one candidate. Nicole Dunlop, a sophomore homeland security major, is the presidential candidate and the only returning executive board member. Current senators Kaitlyn Hazelett, a junior business administration major, and Mia Graziani, a freshman psychology major, are the candidates for vice president of finance and vice president of internal affairs, respectively.

The other two candidates are newcomers to SGA. Khalil Harper, a junior computer science major, is the candidate for vice president of student and academic affairs. Kemoni Farmer, a junior psychology major, is running for campus outreach.

Last year, the OneSRU ticket ran unopposed. Dallas Kline, current SGA president, ran with Dunlop, Logan Tupper, Chadwick Burdick and Kennedy Moore.

While last year was not the first time SGA had a single ticket run for executive board, last year’s election totalled 534 student votes, or 8 percent of the undergraduate student population. This was the lowest SGA election turnout in the past eight years.

2. The senate has still has vacancies.

Video: How is SGA structured?

There are a total of 11 candidates for senate positions. Out of a 30-person senate, this leaves open 19 positions, including nine commuter and four building senators. Six of these positions include freshman and graduate senators, which cannot be filled until the fall. The only contested position within the entire election is the senator for Rhoads Hall.

Candidates for senator include:

  • Robert Baker, a freshman homeland security major (Rhoads Hall)
  • Leif Lindgren, a freshman safety management major (Rhoads Hall)
  • Madison Cox , a freshman psychology major (Building A)
  • Joseph Sciuto, a freshman social work major (Watson Hall)
  • Kathy Bash, a freshman history major (Building D)
  • Nicholas Condon, a freshman undeclared major (commuter)
  • Joshua Hilzendeger, a junior health care administration and management major (commuter)
  • Samantha Kochis, a sophomore music education major (commuter)
  • Breeane Latsko, a freshman exercise science major (commuter)
  • Dillon Pusateri, a freshman political science major (commuter)
  • Cale Walker, a junior exercise science major (commuter)

3. This may be the last election with the current senate structure.

SGA’s restructuring ad-hoc committee is proposing changes to the senate to be more representative of the student body. As of the most recent proposal, which was presented to the student body during open sessions on March 27 and 28, the committee will recommend to increase the number of voting senators to 43.

The most recent plan reduces the number of resident and commuter senators to two each and increases the number of graduate senators to four. The plan introduces 16 senators according to academic college, 12 at-large senators, one transfer senator, one veteran senator and one international student senator. The number of freshmen senators will remain at four.

In a future formal meeting, the SGA senate will need to untable the motion to change SGA’s constitution before voting on any changes to the senate structure.

4. Voting will be on CORE’s Election Booth. 

Voting opens on April 3 at 8 a.m. on CORE’s Election Booth page. To vote, go to “forms” and complete the ballot. The form will close on April 10 at 12 p.m.

There will be a write-in option on the form.

5. Here’s where you can tune in for your election coverage. 

The Rocket and WSRU-TV will be covering all election events and featuring candidates starting April 1 through the final announcement during common hour on April 11. The Rocket will host a townhall for the executive board candidates on April 2 during common hour in the Smith Student Center Commuter Lounge. The event will also be livestreamed on The Rocket’s Facebook page.

Any students who want to submit questions for the townhall can use #SGADebate on social media.

WSRU-TV’s election special of “SGA Update” will stream live on Facebook on April 2 at 8 p.m. The special will include video features of executive board candidates and a roundtable discussion with Kline, current SGA president, and Eric Davies, Adam Zook and Hannah Shumsky of The Rocket.

The announcement of election winners will be April 11 during common hour in the Smith Student Center Lobby. The announcement will also be livestreamed on The Rocket’s Facebook page.

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5 Things to Know Before You Vote